September 21st, 2012 marked the kick off of year two of Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program.
At Constitution High School in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael A. Nutter was joined by Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts, as well as Comcast Executive VP David L. Cohen and Internet Essentials spokesman Tony Dungy, former NFL coach. Together, they celebrated the program that in its first year brought low-cost internet access to more than 100,000 families in American, over 3,250 of them in the Greater Philadelphia area.
“As our society becomes more reliant on technology, those who aren’t connected are getting left behind. Bridging the digital divide is not just important for Philadelphia, it is vital.” -Mayor Nutter
Internet Essentials bridges the digital divide by addressing 3 primary barriers: cost of a computer, cost of internet access, and lack of internet knowledge. Eligible households receive a voucher for a low-cost computer ($149.99 + tax) which they use to connect to the internet for $9.95/month with no price increases, activation fees, or equipment rentals. Plus, they receive access to digital literacy training in print, online, and in person.
“There is no more important back to school supply than an Internet connection. With it, kids will grow up digitally literate and in a better position to graduate prepared to go to college or to compete for good paying jobs in an increasingly digital and global economy.” -Brian L. Roberts
For year two, Comcast has broadened eligibility for the program, increased internet access speeds, upgraded internet security software, and enhanced their digital literacy training, offering a series of videos from NBC and Telemundo news personalities. Comcast has also streamlined of the approval process and introduced a bulk order program that allows community organizations to provide internet connections for families they serve.
“The Internet provides access to a world of knowledge and resources that kids and families today simply cannot live without. The world is moving too fast and families who are not online at home are being left behind.” -Tony Dungy
With nearly 300,000 additional households eligible for the program, the internet has never been more accessible. Thank you Comcast for providing the means for 2.3 million families to explore the web, google homework problems, online shop, Facebook, and so much more.
Eligible households must be located where Comcast offers service, have at least one child eligible for free or reduced school lunch, and must not have subscribed to Comcast within the last 90 days or have an overdue Comcast account or unreturned equipment.